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Eager to act, Biden and Democrats leave Republicans behind

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President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are jamming their agenda forward with a sense of urgency, an unapologetically partisan approach based on the calculation that it’s better to advance the giant COVID-19 rescue package and other priorities than waste time courting Republicans who may never compromise.

The pandemic is driving the crush of legislative action, but so are the still-raw emotions from the U.S. Capitol siege as well as the hard lessons of the last time Democrats had the sweep of party control of Washington. Republicans are mounting blockades of Biden’s agenda just as they did during the devastating 2009 financial crisis with Barack Obama.

 

Democrats, in turn, are showing little patience for the GOP objections and entertaining few overtures toward compromise, claiming the majority of the country supports their agenda.

With fragile majorities in the House and Senate, and a liberal base of voters demanding action, Democrats are operating as if they are on borrowed time.

For many lawmakers, it’s personal.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., led the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to House passage Wednesday on the 30th anniversary of the Rodney King beating by police in Los Angeles that she thought at the time would spur policing reforms. Instead, more Black Americans and others have died in police violence, even after Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement last summer.

“It’s examples like that that lead to the urgency,” Bass said Wednesday.

The start of the first congressional session of the Biden administration was supposed to be a new era of bipartisan deal-making. The Senate evenly split, 50-50, and the House resting on a slim majority for Democrats set prime conditions for Biden to swoop in and forge across-the-aisle compromises.

But the rush through Biden’s first 100 days is shaping up as an urgent era of hardball politics, with Democrats prepared to go it alone, even if that means that changes to the Senate filibuster rules are needed to work around Republican roadblocks to legislation that many Americans support.

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“We said we’re going to do X, Y and Z, but we didn’t say we were going to be magicians,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “We can’t magically make the Republicans be for what the people are for.”

Days before Biden entered office, White House chief of staff Ron Klain highlighted the urgency with which the incoming administration would seek to act. “We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis,” he wrote in a memo. “All of these crises demand urgent action.”

From his first hours in office, Biden sought to take deliberate steps to deliver relief, but also to raise awareness about those and other priorities on the theory that moving urgently would increase public support and raise pressure on Republican lawmakers who might stand in the way.

And within the White House there’s another kind of urgency: Biden has staffed his administration with veterans of government service who are not looking to stick around that long. Some aides are open about their commitments to help Biden for just a year before returning to private-sector jobs.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is coursing ahead on party-line votes under budget rules that will allow Senate passage by a simple 51-vote threshold, denying Republicans the ability to block the bill with a filibuster that would take 60 votes to overcome.

House leaders have reworked this month’s schedule for legislation to include voting rights, gun background checks and immigration in the queue — many of them do-overs of bills blocked last session by President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans. They still face a long haul to becoming law without GOP support in the Senate. But lawmakers and advocates are racing to capitalize on House rules that allow any bill to bypass lengthy committee hearings if brought forward by April 1.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer often hark back to the lessons of 2009, when Obama took office during the financial crisis and Democrats cut back the recovery package to win a few Republican votes only to face an onslaught of attacks against the bill.

Many of the same Democrats in leadership today are unwilling to risk a repeat, especially as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other economists now say that paring back the 2009 rescue package stunted the recovery.

“One of the biggest lessons that Republicans learned in the ’09 and ’10 era is they could basically obstruct everything and not suffer at the ballot box,” said Tre Easton, a senior adviser at the liberal Battle Born Collective.

The strategy is on display again. House Republicans used procedural objections to stall the COVID-19 package until well past midnight late last week after a marathon rules session spilled voting into early Saturday. Senate Republicans are now threatening similar delays.

“We’ll be fighting this in every way that we can,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said about the COVID-19 package.

McConnell wants Senate Republicans to vote in lockstep against the virus aid, calling it a bloated liberal wish list, following the lead of House Republicans who gave it zero support.

That leaves Democrats negotiating with themselves on the COVID-19 package, with Biden warning they won’t like every aspect as he courts centrists. Progressives are being forced to abandon, for now, a provision to lift the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. On Wednesday, Democrats decided to more narrowly target $1,400 direct payments to households.

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Yet Democrats are holding together, so far, because there’s also the urgency that was not readily apparent until Biden was sworn into office.

Perhaps nothing has stiffened the Democratic resolve like the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, which carved new fault lines between those who confirmed the presidential election results and those willing to side with the mob seeking to overturn Trump’s defeat to Biden.

Democratic lawmakers who arrive at the fenced-in Capitol under the watchful protection of armed National Guard troops appear to have “zero” patience, as one aide put it, for engaging with Republicans — some of whom still question the election results. A new threat of violence sent lawmakers to wrap up work for the week late Wednesday.

Republicans are protesting the partisan start, even though they relied on a similar budget mechanism to try to pass Trump-era priorities. They set out to repeal “Obamacare,” an effort that shockingly failed when Sen. John McCain gave it a thumbs-down vote. Later they passed $2 trillion in tax cuts on a party-line vote.

The third-ranking Republican, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, said Biden should go back to his campaign and inauguration themes of bipartisanship “and try to live up to it.”

Bass and others are still hopeful working to find bipartisan Senate support for the policing bill.

But a generation of House leaders who have served decades with Biden and are nearing retirement are increasingly pushing for Senate filibuster rules changes to counter broader Republican opposition.

Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., the majority whip, said of Republican obstruction: “If that’s what they’re going to do, then they’re going to have to live with it, because we’re going to serve it up.”

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Joe Biden Won’t Be President In Five To Six Months, Fox News Host Says

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After pushing the wild theory, Lahren took aim at Biden’s health.

“And we would never talk about somebody that was clearly mentally unstable, maybe somebody that was struggling we would never talk about this,” she said.

“Except for the fact that this is the President of the United States of America.”

Lahren claimed that there is reason to talk about Biden’s purported declining health and said Americans have “every right” to express concern.

The Fox News host also suggested that Democratic lawmakers have also expressed unease about Biden’s fitness for office.

According to Mediaite, Lahren’s claims are akin to a “conspiracy theory.

” She did not offer any evidence to support her claims, and host Judge Jeanine Pirro and commentator Leo Terrell did not offer pushback to the far-out theory.

Instead, Terrell supported Lahren and claimed that Biden‘s health is not doing well. He underlined that the former vice president fell on the steps of the Air Force One and expressed fear over Harris becoming head of state.

Pirro suggested that Biden’s possible replacement would be via the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Lahren’s theory is not new. For months, conservatives have speculated that Biden is a placeholder candidate intended to make way for Harris, who they suggest is the more radical candidate.

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As The Inquisitr reported, The Daily Wire writer Ian Haworth predicted last month that Harris would take Biden’s place much earlier than expected. He supported his claim by underlining that Harris has been taking calls on behalf of Biden and noted that former Vice President Mike Pence did not do the same until later in Donald Trump’s term.

The 25th amendment could be used to replace Biden. Per Mediaite, the legislation allows the vice president — along with the support of the majority of the Cabinet — to deem the head of state unfit and move into power.

As The Inquisitr reported, Pence was previously pressured to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office after reports suggested that the former head of state was considering invoking martial law.

Notably, NBC News reported last year that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi introduced a bill to form a commission centered around the 25th amendment. The move fueled rumors that it was intended for Trump or Biden.

 

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VIDEO: US President Joe Biden, Falls Down Three Times In a Row While Trying To Board a Flight

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Joe Biden is the 46th and currently the president of the United States of America. He was born on 20th of November 1942, which makes him 78 years old.

He is currently trending online after he fell down three consecutive times while attempting to climb up the stairs to board the Air Force one. See video below:-

 

After this video went viral and was shared on Instagram by one of the famous bloggers, The Tattle Room Ng, it got many talking about it. Many said that being a president of a the number one country in the world is not an easy job, he is probably stressed out and needs a good rest. See some screenshots of how people commented and reacted on this incident below:
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In Pennsylvania, Biden showcases aid to small businesses

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President Joe Biden turned up at a minority-owned flooring business in suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday to highlight how his $1.

9 trillion coronavirus relief package can help small businesses and to put a face on those who have struggled throughout the pandemic.

The visit to Smith Flooring, Inc. was Biden’s first stop in a cross-country administration roadshow — also involving his vice president and his wife — designed to publicize, and take credit for, the virus relief package.

It “took some loud, strong voices to get this done,” Biden said, making a subtle dig at Republicans during his visit to the small union shop that will benefit from the relief.

“And it’s not like it passed with 100 votes. It was close.”

 

While Biden was in Pennsylvania for his first stop on the “Help is Here” tour, Vice President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff were reinforcing the small business theme Tuesday with stops in Colorado.

With Harris and Emhoff taking notes during a business roundtable in Denver, Lorena Cantarovici, who began making empanadas in her garage after emigrating from Argentina, told of how her small shop grew over the years into three Maria Empanada locations but then was forced to lay off workers when the coronavirus struck.

She said 80% of her team came back through previous relief programs but it could take two years to get back to full capacity and “recover all this loss.” Harris and Emhoff did their part by departing with empanadas in tow.

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Gabriela Salazar, whose Colorado Artisans represents more than 100 artisans in Denver, estimated more than 90% of those artisans are unemployed or collecting unemployment. Salazar, a small business owner for 30 years, told Harris that help from the Small Business Administration has “kept me afloat but more is needed.”

In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Smith Flooring had 23 employees during peak times but currently is employing 12 workers. It is using the loan to help retain workers and upgrade technology. Borrowers are eligible for forgiveness if they meet certain requirements, including devoting at least 60% of the proceeds to payroll expenses.

In his chat with the owners of Smith Floors, Biden repeatedly asked “what else” they thought his administration should be doing to help businesses like theirs.

In Washington, the Senate confirmed Isabel Guzman, Biden’s pick to lead the Small Business Administration on Tuesday. She is expected to play a key role in implementing the relief bill.

Biden is trying to showcase how the aid package will bring transformational change to the nation by halving child poverty, fueling record levels of hiring and pumping money to parents, schools and state and local governments. It’s a sharp turn from the start of the Biden administration, when vaccination goals were relatively modest and Americans were warned the country might not return to normal until Christmas.

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The Biden administration estimates that 400,000 small businesses have closed because of the pandemic and millions more are barely surviving. His aid package includes a $28 billion grant program to support restaurants and drinking establishments. It also includes $15 billion in flexible grants.

The visit to Smith Flooring was meant to drive home that point. The business saw revenue fall about 20% during the pandemic. It recently qualified for a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan during a two-week window in which the Biden administration focused the program exclusively on helping businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

Harris also held a virtual chat with the operators of a Fort Lupton, Colorado, vaccine clinic.

The second day of the vice president’s tour to publicize the virus relief was disrupted because of a mechanical issue with the government plane that flew the vice president to Las Vegas and Los Angeles on Monday. A smaller backup plane was sent to fly her to Denver, relegating most of her staff, Secret Service and a small group of reporters to fly on a cavernous cargo plane.

Because of the plane issue, Harris scratched her plan for her visit to the vaccine clinic, Plan De Salud Del Valle Inc., and instead spoke with the clinic’s staff over Zoom. She praised their work, making particular note of the clinic’s focus on helping minority communities get vaccinated.

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“The President and I from the beginning of this have made it one of our highest priorities to make sure that we are taking into account racial disparities, and that we supply folks on the ground with the resources you need so that we have equitable outcomes,” she said.

AP

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